Think GitHub's feature name comes from git request-pull. Both are completed by the receiver rather than the author, so it's kind of pulling, even though it's a merge still...
But git pull is also git fetch && git merge FETCH_HEAD, so who knows...?
git fetch && git merge FETCH_HEAD
I guess GitLab's name for it does make more sense for the resulting action though.
One should always remember, Github created this workflow idea for mainstream. I'm curious if request-pull actually came after github.
I don't have a memory of the early days, but I expect the merge feature was not in the initial UI, meaning you literally asked the person to run git pull on your branch i.e. fetch and merge.
From my estimation, pull-request came from the author imposing his viewpoint on others. He assumed that he would be in control of the upstream repository and named it as a hybrid of what it was to him and what he had to do with it.
A better approach is to consider the user's point of view.
Git is a mess of badly structured commands, but a useful tool. Look at mercurial of you want an example of git workflows with a better command line interface.
You'll need to help me on this one. What does hg call it?
"Create a "Pull request" on data in the repo"
Don't bother looking at Mercurial if you're a BitBucket user though:
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